12.3.08

time and distance

Gods (神)
all images by J

I wished I could sit, stare and draw as intently as this girl J and I saw last Sunday at the National Museum of SIngapore's show of marble status of greek gods and assorted philosophers and other such artefacts from the Louvre's collection.

sloware (慢)

Or if taking things slow was an art, it would not itself appear as laborious as this snail's drawing on the pavement.

fromthehead (冒)
from her daddy's head, literally

But I digress.

If things could slow down, I wished it would be like Sunday's one and a half hour walk through the exhibition at the museum, led by an excellent guide who told us stories about amorous/jealous/vengeful (demi)gods, lofty philosophers, earthy dramatists and life in Athens more than 2500 years ago. Because of the stories, the bustle of the crowd and a smart-alecky kid were forgivable. Because of the stories, the distance of those Greek marbled figures from our time, culture and land was at once drawn out and also bridged. Drawn because they were indeed remote and fantastic. What a curiosity that a male god could, in a fit of jealousy, swallow his pregnant wife and "give birth" to their daughter as his head is cracked open to cure a headache! Yet who would not have felt such, er, consuming jealousy - even if for the briefest moment.

It is the best of both worlds really. To be able to escape, yet not be in alien territory.

In the museum, this may possible. Or in a book.

Today is my second day in Tokyo with my mom. It has been a pretty fun, non-stop feast so far. But I am eager to be home.

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p/s The exhibition ends this Saturday. The excellent guide whose tour we tagged along will be giving another tour this Sunday at 3pm. It ends about 4.30pm. She's patient, confident and very well-informed. Best of all, she told good stories - a very Homeric trait!

To get to the museum, take the NEL or North-South line to Dhoby Ghaut. If you are feeling fairly rich, there's Chef Chan or Novus at the Museum for dinner after the tour.

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